Data Visualisation is about bringing data to life. It is where data and design come together to create meaningful, compelling, and accessible stories.
Data Visualisation has exploded in recent years, led in some part by the emergence of 'data journalism' - the Guardian newspaper's Data Blog in the UK is a great example of this, as is the New York Times, who has a 'Data Artist in Residence' (sadly much of this work is now behind Rupert's paywall).
While we don't yet have a similar data journalism culture in Australia, in academia, we are seeing more and more fantastic and creative data visualisation from people like Mitchell Whitelaw, Tim Sherratt and UTS' own Dr Kate Sweetapple.
This video of Swedish statistician and health researcher Hans Rosling is a great example and introduction to data visualisation and demonstrates how it can be used to bring facts and figures to life (warning: Hans is VERY enthusiastic about his work).
Different forms of data visualisation
- Maps and map overlays
What data visualisation can show
- Trends/patterns/changes over time
- Personal/community stories
- e.g. Billion Euro-o-gram
- Spatial Relationships
And other cool stuff
- e.g. America Revealed - Pizza Delivery (video)
- e.g. HistoryPin
- e.g. 50 years of space exploration
- e.g. The Scale of the Universe
- e.g. Dr Kate Sweetapple's Mr Salmon and Mrs Sparrow
- e.g. Mapping the London riots to poverty (achieved with Google Fusion tables)
Data Visualisation Tools
- Tagxedo (similar to wordle but with more options)
- Google Fusion Tables
- Googe Refine - for data cleansing
- visual.ly - fun for social network data
These ones require coding skills: